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IBM Cognos helps banks improve profitability

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Cognos, an IBM company and business intelligence (BI) and performance management (PM) solutions vendor, has launched a new performance application designed to help commercial bankers efficiently price new deals, taking into consideration associated risk factors and the profitability of the overall customer relationship.

The IBM Cognos Relationship Pricing for Commercial Banking Blueprint offers commercial banks a performance management framework that enables relationship managers to efficiently model and price both credit and non-credit deal scenarios that are in line with corporate objectives. Managers can analyse proposed deals against a customer's existing portfolio, giving them complete visibility into the customer's total projected profitability and corresponding risk, making it easier to identify a deal price that will meet or exceed a bank's defined earnings hurdle rates, and improve risk-adjusted return on capital.
"In this climate of economic uncertainty, punctuated by the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis, effective pricing of products and services for customers is
critical. Competitive pricing, at the relationship level in particular, stimulates organic growth, drives new customer acquisition and cross-selling opportunities, and improves overall profitability and risk management," says Patricia Hines, senior analyst, wholesale banking, at TowerGroup.
Combining out-of-the-box functionality from IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence (BI) software – including dashboards, analytical reports and a pre-configured data model – and encompassing banking industry best practices, the IBM Cognos Relationship Pricing for Commercial Banking Blueprint features:
* Pricing capabilities for Credit and Treasury services;
* Deal and relationship profitability analysis capabilities for multiple pricing scenarios;
* User-defined dashboards offering relationship managers book of business, profitability and proposal information to facilitate decision-making;
* Flexible dashboards offering executives high-level, up-to-date revenue, profitability and risk information across all portfolios; and
* Centralised administration and integrated workflow to ensure consistency and accuracy across the loan pricing modeling, analysis and approvals process. This includes a pricing approvals form, displaying all of the deals that require approval and the high-level details of outstanding proposals.
"Spreadsheet-based pricing models are ineffective because they cannot deliver holistic customer relationship information and insights which commercial bankers need to effectively price new business. These shortcomings are magnified given banks heightened focus on operational efficiencies and risk mitigation," says  aurence Trigwell, Associate Vice-President – Financial Services at Cognos.
"The IBM Cognos Relationship Pricing for Commercial Banking Blueprint offers a consistent best practice risk-based pricing model where relationship managers can quickly evaluate new business pricing scenarios, measure their profitability and associated risk impact, then compare it against corporate hurdle rate targets. This assures executives that pricing deals are being developed in line with corporate goals, and can be easily adjusted as strategies change."
Available immediately to customers, the IBM Cognos Relationship Pricing for Commercial Banking Blueprint is the fifth in a series of Banking Performance Blueprints launched by Cognos since 2006, including solutions for branch performance, corporate and retail banking customer segment performance, and risk-adjusted profitability. Cognos also offers a Performance Blueprint for insurance product profitability.